Arguably, some of Gov. Palin's worst enemies are fellow Republicans. Andrea Stone unwittingly points this out in her hit piece on Gov Palin, "Alaskans Ready to Move on From Palin Mania." Stone's article features a who's who of Gov. Palin's detractors and was written to build a case that she "cared and did nothing for her state."
Entering from stage right in this cast of characters is none other than Alice Massie, president of the Alaska Federation of Republican Women.
"Despite what people from 'outside' say, Palin is no conservative. Massie notes that as governor, Palin worked with Democratic legislators to pass an oil company tax that her fellow Republicans opposed. And despite the Tea Party movement's infatuation with Palin, Massie disputes her reputation as a budget hawk, noting that as mayor she plunged Wasilla into debt" (Stone, 2010, ¶31).Had Massie stopped here, perhaps one might conclude that she disagreed with Gov. Palin on tax and budget policies. We believe Massie is wrong on the those issues as well, but that is a different conversation for a different day. This was the opening salvo to an all-out attack:
"Sarah is better suited to the media. She's for people who are looking for an 'American Idol,'" Massie said. "She's brought a lot of attention to Alaska, but what has she really done for the state"? (Stone, 2010, ¶32)What Stone does not reveal is that Massie has a grudge against Gov Palin that dates back to when she was Mayor Palin. In 2002, Alice and Dallas Massie protested a proposed snow machine trail that was to have passed by their hair salon (Christiansen, 2002, ¶11). The Park Ave. Trail was conceived to keep snow machines off the city streets, while allowing people to take them from garage to trail without first loading them on a trailer (Christiansen, 2002, ¶9-10). The alternative was a ban (Christiansen, 2002, ¶10).
Any Alaskan, especially any reporter covering that beat would know that Andrew Halcro and Massie are not sources of objective information on Gov. Palin. Halcro, who receives a significant amount of coverage in Stone's article is one of Gov. Palin's chief critics, a professional blogger, and failed gubernatorial candidate turned congressional candidate.
Further, Stone attended a Mat-Su Republican Women's Club meeting to build this "story." None other than Alice Massie was president of this club for years. In 2009, a new club was chartered in the Mat-Su Valley that promotes all Republican women, especially their hometown governor: Valley Republican Women's Club.
Gov Palin has supported and been supported by all of Alaska's Republican Womens Clubs for years. The following core value underpins the Federation's charter, thus:
"Our Republican women are committed to strengthening our Republican Party, empowering Republican women and creating a better future for our children and grandchildren" (About AK Federation, n.d., ¶3).
Massie's job is to be an objective voice for all Republican women in her state. Every state has an organization for Republican Women, and these organizations collaborate on a national level to promote their members: Republican women. How is Alaska supposed to promote the most popular and respected, and homegrown Republican woman when Massie and the party establishment make a patently partisan attempt to diminish her many accomplishments? Governor Palin has a history of fighting this partisan nonsense. Every Republican Women's Club in the state (of which there are nine) is supportive of Gov. Palin. Many members of the aforementioned Mat-Su club support Gov Palin, but that club's reputation got tarnished, under Massie's reign of petty personal politicking.
We see a veiled classic sexist attack underlying Massie's attack sentences: belittle a woman's accomplishments and hold her out to be "just a pretty face." Empowering women indeed....unless the Republican woman happens to be Gov. Palin. Then the mantra becomes "sit down and shut up!"
Massie forgets a few minor details: Gov. Palin stands tall and executes that which she speaks. She does not retreat. She reloads.
Christiansen, S. (2002, June 28). "Trail controversy ignited." Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. Retrieved February 4, 2010 from: http://www.frontiersman.com/articles/2002/06/28/news1.txt
Stone, A. (2010, February 3). "Alaskans Ready to Move on From Palin Mania" AOL News. Retrieved February 4, 2010 from: http://www.aolnews.com/politics/article/alaskans-ready-to-move-on-from-sarah-palin-mania/19341641
About AFRW. (n.d.). Alaska Federation of Republican Women. Retrieved February 4, 2010 from: http://www.akfrw.org/about.php